The Last Year
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"Layers" "Sideways" "April 1998" "In Between"
"Late May"
The Last Year
"We have all taken our first breath, and we are all going to take our last breath. In considering our own death, we have a chance to consider our own life. This is the dialogue of my work, and this is the dialogue I go through when I'm working" -DS

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"September 88"
"Edge" "Release" "Listen" "Extension"

The Last Year

The Last Year, a series of nine fabric works by Vermont artist Deidre Scherer, portrays the final year in the life of an elderly woman. With immense compassion and respect, Scherer chronicles the woman's journey toward death, from the onset of her decline, through brief reprieves of renewed strength, and finally, to acceptance and release.

Combining the techniques of layering, piecing and machine sewing, Scherer builds a rich surface of images that have contours, highlights and shadows. Her unique approach to fabric and thread medium serves to tell the story narratively, and gives the figure a three-dimensional quality.

Each work depicts a visually compelling moment, while raising universal and social issues that surround the processes of aging, dying and grieving.

Selected Reviews for The Last Year

"These are powerful and compassionate images, ones in direct opposition to the cultural bias against those who are old, ill, dying. Far from being morbid or voyeuristic, Scherer's portraits are a collective homage to the process of transition from what we call life to what we call death -and we realize that death, like birth, involves a sacred labor."
匰herry Chayat, Syracuse Herald American, Nov. 9, 1997
"The Last Year -a powerful story."
匔arol Smith, Grand Travers Herald, February 1999
"She combines craft and fine art in a kind of artistic guerrilla warfare to change people's notions about aging and dying, and, therefore, about living."
...Richard Ewald, Hospice Magazine, Fall 1991
"(Scherer) ties form to subject in an admirably innovative manner. That she does so with compassion raises her art to a high level while it educates us in ways of seeing others' -and our own -aging."
匛die Meidav, Artweek, January 30, 1992
"(Fabric's) familiarity engages the viewer in a way that paint cannot. Scherer validates the medium of stitched textiles and demonstrates that as well as the images themselves it is possible to express deep human emotions."
匯uth Smith, Embroidery, (U.K.), Autumn 1993
"She combines stitches and fabrics to create an almost unnerving human presence, generating an overwhelming sense of concern and respect for the subject she has so closely studied."
...Melissa Leavitt, The California Aggie, March 17, 1999

Selected Venues for The Last Year

2001 Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Brattleboro, VT
2000 Museum of the American Quilter's Society, Paducah, KY
1999 The Memorial Union Art Gallery, University of California, Davis, CA
1998-99 Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, MI
1998 Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, MA
1997 Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
1995 Redding Museum of Art and History, Redding, CA
1994 10th International Congress on Care of the Terminally Ill, Montreal, Canada
1993 Pennsylvania Hospice Network, Monroeville, PA
1992 Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
  The Ghia Gallery, San Francisco, CA Attleboro Museum, Attleboro, MA
  National Cancer Conference, Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI
1990 Social Movement Gallery, Nashville, TN, Traveling Exhibition

Exhibition Information for The Last Year

CONTENTS: 9 pieces (frames 25" x 22"); text panel and labels
PARTICIPATION FEE: Provided upon further inquiry
SHIPPING: Wall to wall insurance and shipping (both ways) paid by borrowing institution
SUPPLEMENTAL: Framed drawings and studies
Books and reproductions
  Artist slide lecture, gallery presentation
  Large work, "Extension", under separate agreement
SECURITY: Moderate
LIGHT: Low level
SCHEDULE: 6-12 weeks or by agreement
For more information about presenting The Last Year, contact Deidre Scherer for exhibition packet and scheduling.

©2009 Deidre Scherer.

All images are property of the artist. For permissions and reproduction information contact Deidre Scherer.
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